You may have heard about books on sale covered with painted papers as they give no clue about the book inside. Some do this for commercial concerns and some do for the sake of literature. Since the February 2014, Bilkent Literature Society have continued a tradition called “Blind Date with a Book” for both literary concerns and raising social awareness to a very saddening fact of the world: child brides.
So, what is “Blind Date with a Book”? Every year, we organize a workshop to cover donated books with paper on which we draw pictures and write poems. Sometimes we fasten them with colored strings. On each Valentine’s Day, we sell those books and donate the income to the International Child’s Center (ICC) located in Bilkent University. Our slogan is coming from ICC: “Gelin Göndermeyelim” (“Gelin” means both “bride” and a call to action. “Göndermeyelim” means “Let’s do not send them”. So, it has a dual meaning which make the same sense: “Let’s do not marry our underaged daugthers”.)
This project is altered from another project with the same name which aims to show people that we shouldn’t judge books with their covers. Our primary goal, as I said before, is to raise awareness of a fact that we generally forget, and we try to create a monetary assistance, even if we raise very tiny budget, to the ICC. It is important for us to make people part of the solution rather than creating enough fund.
If you want to take an active part in our fifth “Blind Date with a Book”, you should get in touch with me or the society. You can donate your old books to be covered and sold or attend our workshop to help us organizing the event. See you on the Valentine’s Day!
Important Note: Name of our project is actually “Görücü Usulü Kitap” which is not exactly “Blind Date with a Book”. The tradition called “görücü usulü” is not the same with “blind date”. I felt the need of this explanation as it didn’t make sense to create a connection between blind date with child brides. Although the tradition of “görücü usulü” transformed in time, it was originally meant the marriage decided by others than broom and bride who have never met before the wedding. And sometimes underaged girls were matched with elderly men. That’s why, we called our project “Görücü Usulü Kitap”.
This was translated into English, in Jul 2018.